KENNEWICK, Wash. -- An antibiotic superbug called MRSA continues to take lives across the country. Local lawmakers and health professionals say they are worried about the bugs' effect on Washington State.
The bug causes staff infections and it is estimated that it kills 18,000 Americans a year, more even than AIDS. Right now, school officials in Connecticut and Texas are reporting multiple students that have the infections.
Health officials say the best ways to keep from getting the bug is to be careful with what you share with other people, to keep your hands away from your nose and mouth, and to wash your hands.
The Department of Health's Mary Selecky says, "Whether in the doctor's office, whether in school, or an entertainment place, it all comes back to good personal hygiene to prevent the bug."
In Benton, Franklin, and Yakima counties hospitals are not required to report cases of the MRSA infections.
But in other Washington counties, cases of the infections have gone up fivefold in the last year. Many times the infection is undetectable but it can be seen as a large sore or boil.